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tonight on "world news," dirty shame. debt collectors harass customers at one of america's biggest banks using on scene threats, racist taunts. brian ross confronts the bank's chairman. political theater. stephen colbert on capitol hill to highlight a serious issue. but did it serve his cause? hostage drama. robbers kidnap a florida bank teller, strap a bomb to his chest, then use him as a weapon to get the money. vintage baseball. the only video of what may be the greatest game ever played, socked away for 50 years in bing crosby's wine cellar. and children's crusader.
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our troubled schools need a super hero, and we found one. he's our "person of the week." good evening. the phone calls were ugly and harrowing. they came early in the morning, late at night, over and over again. in these tough times, it may be no surprise that debt collectors calls are the country's top consumer complaint, but these one crossed all boundaries of decency. racist, pornographic, even targeting someone who owed nothing. tonight, our investigation has found the callers behind these vile shakedowns were hired by a company working for one of america's banking giants. brian ross is here to break this story, and brian, this evidence is stunning. >> reporter: it really is, george. the tactics have reached an all-time low, including the racist, on scene phone calls used in some cases on behalf of
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of america credit card led to the following message from a debt collector. >> what's up you [ bleep ] [ bleep ]? talking about going back to, um, mexico and [ bleep ], go back to africa. >> reporr: the reciepient, allen jones of dallas, texas, says the calls came even after he told them his bank of america account had been paid. >> the representative acted like, oh, we can call you as many times as we want. >> reporter: and the racist, on scene calls continued, late at night and early in the morning. >> this is your [ bleep ] wake up call, man. >> reporter: in lynchburg, virginia, another bank of america customer, geoff burke, was hounded with similar rough >> i have you scared to pick up it is because you're in bed with your sister? or with your mom, your cousin?
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huh? or what? little punk. >> reporter: burke said he received calls like that for months until they finally realized they had the wrong bank >> i had no way to put an end to the phone calls. >> reporter: the calls to the bank of america customers all come from a debt collection agency, a.c.t., in harmingen, texas. >> that sounds like me a whole >> reporter: one of the debt collectors who made the offensive calls, carlos oliva, a company supervisor, testified in a lawsuit that he was hired there just seven months after leaving prison. >> they have a prison mentality. these are the people, a.c.t. chose to hire, to collect debt for bank of america. >> reporter: the company says the callers were rogue operators, and that it has since improved oversight. >> what happened did not represent the policies and the, you know, the work that our >> reporter: but a jury held both the callers and a.c.t. responsible in a verdict of more than $1.5 million. yet, bank of america continues
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to use the same debt collection agency, even after we sent them tapes of the phone calls. >> get your [ bleep ] [ bleep ] up and go pick some [ bleep ] cotton field. >> reporter: the bank refused to talk to us on camera, so, we went looking for its ceo, brian moi that than, so give him a copy of the phone calls. is that acceptable to you? the f-word? >> that would not be acceptable. i'll find out. >> reporter: let me know. thank you. two days later, bank of america essentially fired that collection agency, as a result of what we raised in our investigation, according to debt collection agency chairman. bank of america says the decision had nothing to do with our story. >> that is one action. i got to believe regulators are going to look at this. >> reporter: absolutely. the federal trade commission is preparing a major crackdown and one official said the problem is, abusive phone calls work and the bottom line has too often trumped common decency and the law. >> thanks very much. on capitol hill today, the line between politics and
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entertainment was completely wiped away after blurring for years. stephen colbert, or more specifically, the conservative blow hard he plays on comedy central, testified before the house judiciary committee. jonathan karl was there. >> reporter: this is what it looks like when stephen colbert comes to congress. democrats invited the comedy central funnyman to testify before the house subcommittee on immigration because of this -- >> it was time to get my farm on and i was ready. >> reporter: for his comedy show, colbert worked for a day as a farm worker, doing the job usually done by illegal immigrants, or, kind of doing it. >> sam, do i get paid by the bean or by the hour? >> by the hour. >> and how many hours haven been working? >> about 12 minutes. >> reporter: the show was funny, but for this crowd, much of colbert's testimony fell flat. >> congresswoman lofgren asked me to share my vast experience spending one day as a migrant farm worker. >> reporter: serious subject. witness, not so much. >> maybe the easier answer is
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just to have vegetables pick themselves. >> reporter: the hearing was on the use of illegal farm workers to do work most americans won't do. he chided congress for not dealing with the issue. >> now i'm not a fan of the government doing anything but i've got to ask, why isn't the government doing anything? maybe this jobs bill would help. i don't know. like most members of congress, i haven't read it. >> reporter: at least one republic on the committee took offense. >> i think that he mocked the hearing process. i think it was his intent to do that. >> reporter: this is not the typical crowd at a congressional hearing on a friday on any subject. toward the end of the hearing, for a moment, colbert got serious. >> i like talking about people that don't have any power. and it seems like one of the least powerful people in the united states are migrant workers who come and do our work, but don't have any rights as a result. >> reporter: so was it worth it? are you glad you came? >> ton of fun.
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learned a lot. >> reporter: worried about trivializing such a serious issue? maybe not. but he probably won't be invited back any time soon. jonathan karl, abc news, capitol hill. there is trouble across much of the upper midwest tonight, and states of emergency in parts of minnesota and wisconsin, where severe flooding has forced hundreds from their homes. since yesterday, a powerful storm has dumped more than ten inches of rain on some towns. more rain is on the way. linsey davis reports from or arcadia, wisconsin. >> reporter: long time residents of spring street in arcadia, wisconsin, say they've never seen it this bad. >> i'm scared to death. >> reporter: and this kind of visit from the sheriff's department was also a first. >> if you like to stay, you're on your own. >> no, you guys told me to go -- i'm going. >> reporter: several rivers are still rising. the sight of growing floodwaters evoked more tears. >> don't know if when we come back everything will be still
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here. just moved here five months ago. >> reporter: yesterday, in several parts of wisconsin and minnesota, more than a month's worth of rain fell in less than pipestone, minnesota, residents relied on the best front line of defense they know -- sandbags. the water was so strong, it managed to wash away part of this bridge. the worst of the flooding spanned three states, minnesota, wisconsin and south dakota. >> we were told to leave last night and we came back today and i said i want to get my tools out. >> reporter: and you came back and you see all of this? >> yes. >> reporter: i want to show you what several homeowners are dealing with tonight. it's beyond just their yards being flooded. in some cases here, they're surrounded by water. look at this house. the water actually started climbing up the front steps. but it's not just a problem here. we're actually talking about seven states in the midwest
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currently under flood warning tonight. george? >> linsey davis, thank you. in florida, a chilling and curious hostage drama is playing out. the target, a bank just outside miami. and how the robbers pulled off the heist seemed cruel. matt gutman has the story. >> reporter: police say this man was turned into a human bomb to pull off a daring bank heist. it began as a home invasion overnight. three assailants bursted into diego us came ya that's home. then at about 8:00 a.m., two of the men forced uscamayta into his red mustang and ordered him to drive to his bank. but before sending him in, the robbers strapped what they said was a bomb to his chest. >> said, we have a remote, you know, triggering device, we want you to get as much money that you possibly can and bring it out to us. >> reporter: the only other person in the bank at the type was the branch manager, who, terrified, helped the man into
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the vault. having gathered the money, the teller came out into this parking lot, the bomb still strapped to his body. he handed the money over to the robbers, they drove off, having never stepped foot inside this bank. by this time, the bank manager had alerted the police, and s.w.a.t. teams, the bomb squad and the fbi swarmed, snarling traffic on u.s.-1. >> it is an unusual event to have explosives strapped to a victim and sent in. >> reporter: for three hours, uscamayta remained in the bank, until the bomb was cut off of his body. he's still being questioned by police. and george, the fbi is still working to determine whether or not that device could have been a viable bomb. as for those three assailants, they seem to have disappeared. and while i asked investigators how much money those assailants stole, they said they couldn't tell me exactly, but it was a sum that was unusually large for a bank heist. george? >> okay, matt, thank you. president obama is heading back to washington tonight after two days packed with dip phone
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si here in new york. so, let's bring in jake tapper to wrap it up. and jake, it's become a custom. president mahmoud ahmadinejad givens an insid area speech, yesterday, linking, saying 9/11 might have been an inside job by the u.s. today, the president lashed back. >> reporter: that's right. he chose the opportunity with an interview with bbc persia, which airs in iran, to respond to the comments. >> it was offensive. of ground zero, for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable. >> reporter: and george, throughout that interview, the president tried to exploit domestic political tensions and divisions within iran, talking to the iranian people about how ahmadinejad is bad for the people and bad for the economy. >> yet, behind the scenes, this week, some rumblings of possible talks getting started again? >> reporter: that's right, and
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in fact ahmadinejad today said he was willing to come back to the table with international negotiators to talk about ending the nuclear weapons program, as an exploratory measure, and they've been meeting with the british and chinese about doing that. >> the president is making a big push for peace between the palestinians and israelis. they are coming up against a deadline this sunday, the end of the freeze. >> if we fail on the 30th, expect another war by the end of the year. >> expect another -- >> war by the end of the year. and more wars that i foresee in the region over the coming years. >> very strong warning from the king. and that is why the president is putting on a full court press this week. >> reporter: that's right. and this evening, hillary clinton is meeting with the palestinian president, mahmoud abbas to talk about how to get past this issue if the israelis do end the settlement freeze. >> and a real fear if they end
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it, violence could break out. >> reporter: not just violence, a war. >> jake tapper, thank you. still ahead on "world news," the only film from one of the most famous baseball games ever played. the death of eddie fisher. looking back at the hits, the famous marriages, and his fall from grace. and our "person of the week." how one man's quest to change how children learn may change education in america. we speak value. and people like what we're saying. about how fusion is projected to hold its resale value better than camry. and has better quality than accord. as a matter of fact, people like what we're saying so much, ford fusion is now the 2010 motor trend car of the year. the fusion, from ford. get in . . . and drive one.
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greatest game ever -- >> here comes the pitch. >> reporter: or, if you're a yankees fan, the worst. >> and there she goes! >> reporter: final game of the 1960 world series. the only time the series has ever been decided by a game-winning home run. >> it's a home run for mazeroski. >> reporter: news reel footage survives on youtube of pittsburgh's bill mazeroski and his famous hit in the ninth inning. but no one thought to save a recording of the full game, except, of all people, bing crosby, part owner of the pirates. crosby archivist robert bader discovered the dusty reels last summer in bing's basement. >> i contacted major league baseball when i realized what i had. of course, their first reaction was -- you must be mistaken. that can't possibly exist. >> reporter: and there he is right now. today, kathryn crosby, bing's widow, welcomed us in their home. the basement, unfortunately, was off-limits.
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but she told us the story. >> he felt that he jinxed them. >> reporter: bing crosby couldn't even stand to stay in the country. so he asked someone to film it off the tv while he took the family to paris. they listened over the radio. >> bing had been opening up a bottle of scotch, on the mantle, because it wouldn't open. and he was just tapping it. and when the ball was struck, he hit it and broke the bottle and it dropped into the fireplace. >> reporter: the major league baseball network plans to show the game in its entirety this coming december and release a dvd. >> from the perspective of a baseball fan, the value of this footage is priceless. >> reporter: for kathryn crosby, it's just one of thousands of treasures of her late husband, and his game love of the game. david wright, abc news, hillsborough, california. >> great reporting from david wright. and coming up, hollywood loses one of its own. the hits, the misses and the wives of eddie fisher.
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to define true pop stardom has died. eddie fisher skyrocketed to fame and wement in the 1950s, but he may be best known for his failed marriages to some famous women. in his 20s, he was at the top of his game, selling millions of records, starring in movies. headlines variety shows like "coke time with eddie fisher." >> please, daddy, one more song! >> reporter: the pre-elvis generation, he was the ultimate heart throb. ♪ i know i'll never be free >> reporter: heartbreaker, too. he married debbie reynolds in 1955. they became known as america's sweethearts. appearing together on "what's my life." >> could it possibly debbie and eddie? >> yes. >> reporter: the couple had two children including carrie fisher. but then, in 1958, a tabloid scandal that was the beginning of the end of fisher's career. he left the very popular reynolds for elizabeth taylor.
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four years later, taylor left him. ♪ i've been down hearted >> reporter: he went on to marry three more times. eddie fisher was 82. and fisher was remembered by his four children today, including carrie fisher, writing on bet their her dad was, quote, an extraordinary talent. still ahead, this man is starring in a feature film about schools. his strategy is spreading across the country. and he's our "person of the week." ♪ [ male announcer ] giving up cigarettes can take more than willpower alone. but today's a new day. for many, smoking is a treatable medical condition. so talk to your doctor about prescription treatment options and support. and this time, make it your time.
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there's a movie coming out tonight that i hope you'll see. it's about a real crisis in our public schools.
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it's called "waiting for superman" and it features the man we choose tonight as our "person of the week." geoffrey canada has created a bold experiment. >> this is not one of those issues that you have a crisis and you say, there's nothing you can do. >> reporter: his solution, the harlem children's zone in manhattans historic and troubled neighborhood. >> what we wanted to see in harlem was our community looked like middle class communities, where kids had health care and they were eating nutritious meals. where young people didn't have to worry about gangs, and being shot and being killed. >> reporter: the luckiest attend the charter school in the heart of the zone, promises academy. what happens here is being called a miracle. canada's poor minority students are doing as well as their more privileged peers across the country. 650 promises academy graduates are now in college. here's the rub. the only way to get in today is through a heartbreaking lottery. >> and the last number --
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>> reporter: but more money is pouring in. he just received a $20 million gift from goldman sachs and, this week, the white house awarded grants to 20 communities so the zone's impact will be felt by more than just the lucky few. and what a week it's been for canada. not only is he one of the stars of the new documentary, "waiting for superman, " about problems in our public school system. he even gave the movie its title. >> one of the saddest days of my life was when my mother told me, "superman did not exist." because even in the depths of the ghetto, you just thought he was coming, i just don't know when because he always shows up and he saves up all the good people. she thought i was crying because it's like santa claus is not real. i was crying because no one was coming with enough power to save us. >> reporter: canada grew up in the south bronx, raised by a single mother who struggled.
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>> it was one of the toughest places to grow up in america. most of my friends never made it out of the south bronx as healthy and productive citizens. >> reporter: he's still haunted by their memory. >> one of the things that really disturbed me growing up is i felt that the adults around us just let kids perish, they didn't do anything to step in. >> reporter: but he steps in every day, proving that the system can be fixed. if you just push a little harder and dream a lot bigger. >> it's one of the great joys of my life, that when i look at my young people, i realize there's a bunch of us adults standing with these kids, saying, you know, we're going to guarantee you make it. >> reporter: and there will be more and so we choose geoffrey canada, who believes what he's doing in harlem is just the beginning of a dream for the entire country. that's it for us tonight. diane sawyer will be back monday. i'll see you that morning on "gma." for all of us at abc news, have a good night, and a great building wind farms and
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ABC World News With Diane Sawyer
ABC September 24, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

News/Business. Diane Sawyer. The latest world and national news. New. (HD) (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY America 12, Wisconsin 5, Eddie Fisher 5, Minnesota 4, Canada 4, Bing Crosby 4, Campbell 3, Colbert 3, Stephen Colbert 3, Carrie Fisher 2, Brian Ross 2, Abc News 2, Citracal 2, David Wright 2, Kathryn Crosby 2, Fisher 2, Jonathan Karl 2, Florida 2, Harlem 2, Pittsburgh 2
Network ABC
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 78 (549 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 9/24/2010